Festive celebrations, flickering lights and winter greens are hallmarks of the holiday season, but they also present fire risks that can quickly turn this festive time of year into a devastating one. NFPA’s Project Holiday campaign works to educate the public about potential fire risks during the holidays, offering tip sheets, videos, and other resources to help everyone safely enjoy the season.
Winter holiday fires by the numbers
Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in two out of every five (40%) home Christmas tree fires.
More than one-third (37%) of home Christmas tree fires started in the living room, family room, or den. All of the fatalities and roughly three-quarters (72%) of the injuries resulted from fires started in this area.
The top three days for home candle fires were Christmas, New Year’s Day and New Year's Eve.
December is the peak time of year for home candle fires; the top four days for home candle fires are New Year’s Day, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Christmas Eve. Each year between 2009 and 2013, an average of 25 home candle fires were reported each day.
Heating is the second leading cause of U.S. home fires, deaths and injuries. December, January and February are the peak months for heating fires. Space heaters are the type of equipment most often involved in home heating equipment fires, figuring in two of every five fires (40%).